Latest Posts

DC-DC module testing


I have been on the lookout for some off the shelf low cost DC-DC modules for a project that requires 5V at up to 3A. I considered doing my own but the cost of the parts is about 10 times the price of the low cost boards that are available from a number of local…

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Low cost but high quality PCB manufacturer


As many of my projects are also hobby based I am always looking for the cheapest option to get professional PCB’s made. I came across AllPCB the other day and ordered 30 each of 3 small PCB’s I need for work to give them a try out. The speed of delivery was good at 3…

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Juno Parts Making


Motor Mounts After having re-designed Juno in Fusion 360 I turned my attention to making some of the parts with the CNC machine I recently purchased for “work” projects. The first to be made was the small mounting plates for the geared motors. My original idea was for these to be made by Front Panel…

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Juno update


My Juno project has been delayed until Seeed Studio delivers the Respeaker and I can work out how to integrate this into the model but the good news is that I got an email saying that the Respeaker would be going out at the start of July 2017 so hopefully I will get them and…

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Raspberry Pi Serial Port


I’ve been having some issues with the Enocean switches where the Pi would not respond to the commands unless you pressed the button a few times much to the annoyance of family members. In relation to this issue, I ran across something interesting the other day on Peter Scargill’s blog. http://tech.scargill.net/raspberry-pi-3-serial/ I then updated my…

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MQTT Scales for LPG gas bottle monitoring


Having ran out of gas a few times just when you are busy cooking can be a frustrating experience. Of course, the regulator is fitted with a gauge but as is normal, you never check this before you use it. So, it was time to geek it up a bit and see if I could…

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Itead Smart Switch Flash Upgrade


I purchased 2 Itead Studio smart switches, V1.0.0, according to the PCB but the FLASH is only 8Mb so not enough to support the firmware I use so I need to remove the old one and fit some new replacement units. These are 32Mb and made by Winbond and the part number is W25Q32BVSIG. I got…

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Enocean Wireless and Battery Free Switches


One of my biggest issues with my home automation system is the need to have some kind of switch to be able to switch on and off lights. I was reluctant for a long time to put control in the likes of the toilet or bedroom for lack of being able to switch them on…

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PCB’s for lamp modules and switch modules arrived


I received the PCB’s this week and built up 5 modules with ESP12 and programmed and tested. Small issue with the power supply I used but there is a fix for this and I have changed to a solid state relay for the switching. We have a few switch modules which will be fitted into…

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Power Supply Issues


It turns out that the power supply I used for the home automation modules has a serious issue with dropouts when the AC load is switched. I found the details on the Itead Studio website and the image I capture on the scope was identical to the one show on there. https://www.itead.cc/blog/ac-dc-v2-v3-comparative-test-report This is the…

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